For The People on Colt Ct.

For The People on Colt Ct. Wherever they are.

comcast_logoI do not have an Xfinity home security system, but you know who does? Some dumbass on Colt Ct. Wherever that is. They put my email address in as their own, and I got an email about it. I got a lot of emails about it.

In fact, I got an email notification every time they did anything.

The alarm is set. The alarm is not set. The alarm is being tested. The alarm is functioning normally. The alarm is set. Alarm in progress! Alarm aborted. The alarm is…

Well, I hoped they’d realize they weren’t getting the notifications they expected and they’d figure it out. But they didn’t. The next morning, there were 56 emails in my box, all about this damn alarm.

Well, time to call the cable company. Thing is, my preferred method of dealing with people is not in person. My preference for dealing with people is hiding under the bed. But whatever, I can’t take all these emails. So I tried their online chat room help function. Some nice guy came on within a few moments and asked what my problem was. I told him I was getting emails for someone else’s alarm system.

Thank you so much for your patience and I am sorry for the inconvenience. I understand that you’d like to update your email address is that correct?

No. You aren’t listening at all. I would like you to remove my email address from these other people’s account. I’m getting their emails.

I am sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience. Let me see what is going on here. May I have the account number?

I don’t have their account number, obviously. This goes on for a short while but eventually the guy understands the problem. He says to hold on a minute, and then comes back and tells me he’s called the homeowners and they verified that my address was not theirs, and he was removing my email from their account right that very minute. There would be no further trouble. (Thank-you-so-much-for-your-patience-so-sorry-for-the-inconvenience.)

He has me take a survey about how wonderful he was. I said he had done a fine job.


The next morning, 75 emails await.

The alarm is set, it’s not set, it’s testing, it’s failed the test, it’s passed the test. The alarm is functional. Alarm in progress! Alarm aborted. The alarm is feeling tired now and would appreciate a nap …

Well, obviously I’d better call a person this time. So I call. They run me through a fifteen minute menu of idiocy and advertise their delightful customer service guarantee at least seven times. I finally get a woman, she asks what my problem is. I tell her. And she says “Oh. Well that’s an email problem. You need to talk to someone in that department. I’ll connect you.”

And she sends me back to the beginning. I run through the fifteen idiot minutes again, hear about their delightful customer service guarantee seven more times. I get another woman. “Thank you for calling Comcast how may I—”  click. Disconnected.

I run through the fifteen minute menu again. I hear about this mythical fucking customer service they keep touting another seven times. I get another woman. This one says she’s sorry when I tell her about the problems I’ve been having, and asks for my phone number in case it happens again. I give her my number and… click. Disconnected.

Five minutes later, the phone rings. She’s trying to call me back, the poor deluded thing. She still believes in the customer service. But when I answer, it goes click again and my mind breaks just a little. I wait patiently, but she’s learned her lesson and doesn’t try calling anymore.

Meanwhile, the alarm at Colt Ct. (wherever that is) is having a field day. It’s being set and unset and aborted and tested at a rapid clip.

So I get a drink and drink it, and then I get another one and drink that, and then I start again with online support. Someone comes on rapidly and asks how she may help. I tell her. I tell her all about it. I tell her about the emails and the first support guy, and how it did no good. I tell her about the emails this morning and the telephone menu and being disconnected four times.

She asks me what the address is of the house with the alarm, so she can look up their account. I tell her the address in the email, but there is no city or state listed there. Just the street number on Colt Ct. Wherever that is.

She says she’s going to have a very hard time locating them with only that, and that she will need to get her supervisor involved. Then after a while she says they have located the account and her supervisor is calling them on the phone. But there’s a problem: nobody is answering the phone.

Of course not; they’re too busy dealing with the alarm system. It’s broken free of its confines and has begun redecorating the living room.

I wait, and I wait.Finally, success. They contact the homeowner (again or for the first time, I cannot say) and they’ve verified that my email address is not theirs (again or for the first time, I cannot say) and they’re removing it from their account so I will not be troubled any further, thank-you-very-much-for-your-patience-and-so-sorry-for-the-inconveniece…and by the way have you heard about our customer service guarantee?

I tell her I have heard about it many, many times and remind her that I’ve been trying to take care of this for two days. She apologizes again for the guy from the day before not taking the email out, and asks me if he was from Comcast.

No, I just yelled at some random guy on the street to fix my email… of course he was from Comcast, right here in this very window. He was very nice, and he seemed very efficient… but apparently he did nothing at all. They don’t even have a record of my having had a complaint that day.

She promises that this time she really has taken my email off the other account. It was just a secondary email they’d put in and they had no idea they were getting any messages from the alarm system. Yes, she says, she knows the previous guy told me the same thing.

Now I sort of wonder how the people on Colt Ct. are doing. Is their alarm set? Does it have fresh batteries? Do they punch the buttons gently when they leave the house?

I wonder if it misses me.

Goodnight, Colt Ct. Wherever you are.

2 thoughts on “For The People on Colt Ct.

  1. OMG epic stuff, brilliantly conveyed :)
    Must have been a house alarm from hell.
    Customer services have become a strange phenomenon. My present take on it … these businesses have automated systems that aim to eliminate staff. The people who work in such places are superfluous and powerless in relation to the system. They get points for good behaviour, so they can’t let rip with costumers or express frustration to their supervisor, but they can sabotage the system in a kind of passive aggressive way, most likely unconscious. It must feel great when a customer expressed anger and they manage to stay calm. I wonder about the algorithms that make up the staff’s brownie points.

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